Things to do in November: Trot for a cause, and enjoy holiday parades and activities

November is a time of Thanksgiving — will there be pumpkin pie? — when most of the colorful leaves have fallen, and the air gets cool and crisp. So, bundle up, because ideas for family and fun, shopping and celebrations, arts and music abound in Allegan, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest. 

Week One (Nov. 1 – 6)

Pianist Gabriela Martinez will perform with the West Michigan Symphony.

Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St. Saugatuck
Through Dec. 23, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
A collaborative photography/print-making series between CultureWorks Student Advisory Council and I Am Academy of Holland on exploring Black heroes. “Ubuntu: I Am Because We Are” will be on display in the corridor.

Evening at Tiffany's
200 Washington Ave., Grand Haven 
Thursday, Nov. 3, 6-9 p.m. 
A night of fashion, food, and cocktails benefiting Mosaic Counseling mental health services, school outreach program, and suicide prevention training. Doors open at 5 p.m. Fashion show begins at 6 p.m. All tickets are VIP and include admission to the fashion show, sweet and savory bites, a swag bag, and $10 coupons for each presenting store. Sponsorships are available.

Annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar
145 Columbia Ave., Holland
Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Freedom Village's annual Holiday Shopping Bazaar is an event residents have been working hard for all year. Admission is free and all proceeds benefit the Freedom Village Residents’ Scholarship Fund and The Boys and Girls Club of Holland. The bazaar features traditional bazaar booths stocked with creative, delicious, and unique handcrafted specialties, as well as our popular sale of used books, attic treasures, and jewelry. Visit the Bazaar Café for delicious treats.

West Michigan Symphony: Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky
Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Friday, Nov. 4, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $10-$19
A night of passionate and lyrical musical pyrotechnics with Adolphus Hailstork’s “Fanfare on Amazing Grace,” Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No.2,” and Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No.5,” featuring Scott Speck conducting and pianist Gabriela Martinez.

Winter's Eve Market
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Friday, Nov. 4 &18, 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Come for the perfect night of artisan craft cocktails, Michigan-made wares, and cool tunes under the lights at the SCA. Grab a snack and one of our unique cold-weather-inspired drinks to enjoy while strolling through the booths of local top-notch creatives, featuring artisan housewares and decor, hand-crafted wearables, and treats for you and your pets.

Turkey Trail Run 5K Walk/Run at Hoffmaster State Park
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, 6585 Lake Harbor Road, Muskegon
Saturday, Nov. 5, 10-11 a.m. 
Cost: $35 (no shirt), $50 (long-sleeve shirt)
5K start line and registration will be at Hoffmaster State Park beach parking lot, and the finish will be at the Gillette Visitor Center. Make sure to have a recreation passport for park entry. Everyone must park at the beach parking lot. A trolley will be available to transport spectators from the beach parking lot to the bottom of the Visitor Center Drive. There will be no Little Trot this year.

Camp Sunshine Run for the Sun 5K
Hope College Dow Center, 168 E. 13th St., Holland
Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to noon
Since 2009, Run for the Sun has been an opportunity for campers, counselors, donors, families, friends, and sponsors to join together in raising awareness and support for Camp Sunshine. The Run for the Sun 5K will return in person on the Hope College campus. There will be both 5K and 1-mile Fun Run options. Camp Sunshine offers individuals with cognitive/developmental disabilities summer camp experiences in a safe, caring, and inclusive environment.

Christmas Open House
Autumn Farm Co., 9667 Quincy St., Zeeland
Saturday, Nov. 5, 5-8 p.m. 
The Autumn Farm Co. shop is open for Christmas. It's celebrating the season with mulled spiced cider, and home-baked goodies. Shop our Christmas accents and gifts, with specials throughout the night.
Details: Christmas Open House, 5 November | Event in Zeeland |

Muskegon Market and Mercantile annual Holiday Open House
Muskegon Market and Mercantile, 1447 W. Sherman Blvd., Muskegon
Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
This market will feature one-of-a-kind decorations and gifts from more than 90 makers and merchants.
Details: Muskegon Market and Mercantile Annual Holiday Open House

Saugatuck Film Fest
The Saugatuck Women’s Club, Downtown Saugatuck
Saturday, Nov. 5 
The Saugatuck Film Fest promises an exploration of the frontier of filmmaking with a backdrop of one of Michigan’s most beautiful art destinations. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Ox-Bow School of Art.

Deer Widow After Party 
Coopersville Brewing Company, 1275 Randall St., Coopersville 
Saturday, Nov. 5, 3-7 p.m. 
This will be the official after-party for the fourth annual Deer Widow Day hosted by The Green Brick Boutique. There will also be some fun live music, and upcycled flannels, T-shirts, and hats.

Week Two (Nov 7 – 13)

GVSU Arts Celebration with the South Chicago Dance Theatre
GVSU Louis Armstrong Theatre, Haas Center for the Performing Arts, Allendale campus
Monday, Nov. 7, 7-8:30 p.m.
Seamlessly fusing classical and contemporary dance styles, South Chicago Dance Theatre, a leader in the Chicago dance scene, will perform an evening of recently commissioned work from nationally acclaimed choreographers. GVSU Arts Celebration strongly recommends arriving 15 minutes before curtain — this event may fill.
Details: GVSU Arts Celebration--South Chicago Dance Theatre: Energy | Power | Grace

Veterans Day Parade 
Downtown Muskegon
Nov. 11, 5-5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
Honor the ones who served our country with United Way of the Lakeshore on Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11. The parade will start on 7th Street and down to 2nd Street on Western Avenue, through the heart of downtown Muskegon. Please bring items such as socks, hats, hygiene products, etc., as there will also be a “Stuff the Bus” for veterans in front of the Trinity Health Arena.

Dinner and Movie Night: “The Canary Effect” 
Momentum Center, 714 Columbus Ave, Grand Haven
Friday, Nov. 11, Dinner at 5 p.m. and the film will begin at 6 p.m.
“The Canary Effect” explores how Native Americans have been negatively affected by United States government policies. Topics include genocide, media refusal to report on stories of death by suicide, and Columbine-style shootings. The history is shared in a visually powerful way. The movie won the Stanley Kubrick Award at the Traverse City Film Festival.

Bravo! From Opera to Broadway
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Nov. 11 & 12, 7 p.m. 
Back by popular demand, Gillian and John Riesen, along with Neill Campbell and Jonathan Estabrooks, come to town for two very special evenings. The foursome has performed on major stages across the world including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center – and even on America’s Got Talent. All proceeds from the event support the SCA’s cost-free, literacy programming for K-12th-graders.

Shop 'Til You Drop
Downtown Holland
Friday, Nov. 11, 7-10 p.m. 
Get your holiday shopping off to an early start with the Shop 'Til You Drop late-night shopping event in Downtown Holland. The later you shop, the more you save. Participating merchants will be offering discounts of 20% off from 7-8 p.m., 25% off from 8-9 p.m., and 30% off from 9-10 p.m. Discounted merchandise will vary by store, but will include a discount off at least one item. 

Cranksgiving Bike Ride and Food Drive
Saturday, Nov. 12, 10-11 a.m. 
Velo City Cycles, 326 S. River Ave., Holland to Community Action House Food Club, 729 Paw Paw Drive, Holland
Grab your bikes, helmets, backpacks, and bike carts to collect food to make it a #hungerfreethanksgiving for the Holland community. Bike to your favorite grocery store (or a couple of them) to pick up non-perishable items. This year, we will have two drop-off locations: Velo City Cycles and the Community Action House Food Club.

Week Three (Nov 14 – 20)

Holland Friends of Art Kerstmarkt returns in November.

History lesson: Travel Back in Time to the Ottawa Beach Hotel
Pillar Church, 57 E 10th St., Holland
Monday, Nov.14, 7:30 p.m.
The Ottawa Beach Hotel began as merely a resort destination on Black Lake which grew to eventually have its own railroad station and ended as one of Holland’s premier luxury hotels, serving hundreds of thousands of tourists before its tragic end. The Holland Area Historical Society is hosting the program, “Travel Back in Time to the Ottawa Beach Hotel” with noted local historian Valerie van Heest. Valerie is an author, explorer, and museum exhibit designer. 

Beer School: Saisons
Guardian Brewing Company, 3657 63rd St., Saugatuck
Nov. 16, 7-8 p.m.
Cost: $15
Want to know more about the world of craft beer Saison ale? Where do they originate and how do they differ from other brews? Learn about six different Saison styles from around the world while tasting craft beers. 

Joe Gatto's Night of Comedy
Frauenthal Theater, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Thursday, Nov, 17, 7 p.m. 
Cost: Prices:  $36.75 | $46.75 | $56.75 | $100 Meet & Greet (Ticket price does not include fees.)
Joe Gatto, a well-known comedian, actor, and producer, is best known for the hit TV shows “Impractical Jokers” and “The Misery Index.” He is one of the founding members of The Tenderloins Comedy Troupe and has toured with a live comedy show to sold-out crowds across the world, including legendary arenas such as Madison Square Garden in New York and the O2 Arena in London. (Parental discretion advised.)

Lecture: Michigan Fencibles: Battle for Fudge Island & The Toledo War
Tri-Cities Historical Museum, 200 Washington Ave., Grand Haven
Thursday, Nov. 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
This is the third lecture in the museum's “Michigan Myths & Legends” lecture series. West Michigan Historians Kurt Troutman and George Maniates will present two legendary stories that occurred at a time in Michigan’s past when tensions were high: The Battle of Fudge Island: Michigan’s War in 1812, and the Toledo War.
Details: Lecture: Michigan Fencibles: Battle for Fudge Island & The Toledo War - Grand Haven

White Lake Area annual Holiday Walk
Montague and Whitehall
Friday, Nov. 18, 2-8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays at the 29th annual White Lake Area Holiday Walk along the streets of Montague and Whitehall with dozens of participating businesses. Montague and Whitehall will have individual tree-lighting ceremonies on Friday night. Gather at 5 p.m. at The Artisan Market Village on Water Street in Montague. Whitehall festivities are on North Mears Avenue starting at 6 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to bring an ornament and put it on the community tree of their choice.

Winter Whimsy Wreath + More
Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver St., Saugatuck
Friday, Nov. 18, 5-6 p.m. and 7-8 p.m.
Cost: $55 per craft bundle
There will be a whimsical evening of winter crafting during the annual Winter’s Eve Market. Utilizing fresh greens harvested locally, guests will be guided through a creative class — creating wreaths, garlands, and other winter goodies — by the talented CristiEllen Zarvas of Fresh Cut Design.

8th Street Marketplace, corner of 8th Street and Pine Avenue
Beginning Nov. 19 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) through Dec. 10. See the link below for hours.
Experience a delightful outdoor European-style market with holiday items, delicious food, and artisan demonstrations. 

15th annual Grand Haven Holiday Artisan Market
Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven
Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free admission 
Find gifts, holiday decor, and unique gifts all in one place.

Holiday Arts and Crafts Market
The Pinnacle Center, 3330 Highland Drive, Hudsonville
Saturday, Nov. 19, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Vendors, crafters, and artists will have a variety of gifts to sell. 

2022 Allendale Artisan & Craft Market Place
Allendale High School 10760 68th Ave., Allendale
Saturday, Nov 19, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free admission
The market will feature over 125 vendors of various styles.
Details: 2022 Allendale Artisan & Craft Market Place

Modales 2022 Nouveau Celebration
Venue: Modales Wines, 2128 62nd St., Fennville
Saturday, Nov. 19, 3-8 p.m. 
Cost: $65, $55 for Wine Club members
Nouveau has been a tradition in France for years, and the excitement is coming to Fennville. Modales Wines will celebrate the end of the 2022 harvest with the first red wine of the 2022 vintage with a harvest shindig. 

Play: Ain't Nothing Like Family — Ms. Wilkins Goes To The Club
Frauenthal Center, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Saturday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. 
Cost: $42
Enjoy a night of fun and laughter as Host Productions presents “Ain’t Nothing Like Family — Ms. Wilkins Goes To The Club.” In this hilarious play, a family shows what it means to stick together in this present time and let their faith get them through troubled times. 

Week Four (Nov 21 – 26)

An 80-foot Christmas tree tower brightens up the sky over downtown Saugatuck.

10th annual Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk or Ride
1 Y Drive, Grand Haven 
Thursday, Nov. 24, 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: $25
Grab your friends and family for a fun “trot” before the Thanksgiving Day feast. Out Side In is hosting the 10th annual 5K fundraiser in downtown Grand Haven. This 5K is family- and kid-friendly. All proceeds will support the Heroes for Horses program for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Can’t join in person or plan to saddle up for this 5K? You can still support the cause by signing up for the virtual race. For race times and other information, click the link below.

Christmas at Countryside 2022 — Farmgirl Flea Market Event
Countryside Greenhouse of Allendale, 9050 Lake Michigan Drive, Allendale
Friday, Nov. 25, noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 26, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Cost: $5 entry fee; kids 12 and younger admitted free
There will be vintage and handmade goods from 200+ vendors from across the country. Vendors are carefully juried to create the best shopping experience.

Annual Community Tree-Lighting Ceremony
Wicks Park, Water Street, Saugatuck
Friday, Nov. 25, 3-6 p.m. 
Santa and his reindeer will be available for photos and chats, so bring your camera and Christmas list. At 5 p.m., head over to Wicks Park Gazebo on Water Street for a countdown to the annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony with Santa and the mayor of Saugatuck. The lighting of the holiday tree will be in unison with the lighting of the star on Mount Baldhead.

Week Five (Nov 28 – 30)

Magical Christmas Parade
Downtown Zeeland 
Nov. 28, 5 p.m. 
Zeeland's holiday fun begins with a Tuba Christmas at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Tree-Lighting Ceremony at the Splash Pad Park at 6:15 p.m. Topping off the merriment will be the Magical Christmas Parade through the downtown, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The lighted parade features walking groups and marching bands, concluding with the appearance of Santa Claus.

Parade of Lights
Downtown Holland
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m.
Santa Claus arrives in Downtown Holland during the annual Parade of Lights. He’ll be escorted by 75 floats, trucks, antique cars, walkers, and marching bands … all decked out from top to bottom in thousands of sparkling lights. This brightly lit holiday procession is fun for the entire family and a holiday tradition for the entire community. The Parade of Lights will begin at the corner of 8th Street and Columbia Avenue at 6:30 p.m. and proceed west on 8th Street until it reaches the Holland Civic Center, home of the Holiday Kerstmarkt. The Parade of Lights is proudly sponsored by Gentex Corp.

Feel the Zeel of Christmas
Downtown Zeeland 
Nov. 20 to Dec. 2
Every year, the city of Zeeland partners with a selected local nonprofit organization to host a series of charming Christmas events downtown. Feel the Zeel of Christmas is a three-day event that celebrates the warmth and nostalgia of the holiday season in a small town. During Feel the Zeel of Christmas, there will be horse-drawn trolley rides, a visit with Santa, Santa’s mailbox, extended holiday shopping hours, in-store promotions, and more. Proceeds from this event will be donated to a local nonprofit. 

Mona Shores High School Choir Presents America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree
Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon
Nov. 30, 7 p.m. 
Over 200 enthusiastic performing arts students sing and play an eclectic mix of seasonal favorites from a wide variety of genres while standing in a 67-foot tree covered in more than 25,000 lights … it is simply spectacular. Performances take place amid the backdrop of the opulent Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Muskegon.

Need suggestions for specific destinations or activities, check out these tourism resources for details:
Holland Area Visitors Bureau
Grand Haven CVB
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Saugatuck CVB
Allegan County Parks & Recreation

Read more articles by Sally Laukitis.